BROMSGROVE’s Lauren Rowles and partner Laurence Whiteley have taken gold in Tokyo today in the mixed double sculls.
The pair successfully defended the title they won four years ago, beating the Netherlands into second and China into third with a time of 8:38:99. That was a new personal best and even quicker than their previous one of 8:42:27 in the heat. The Netherlands finished 5.14secs behind them.
Rowles and Whiteley, who usually start quickly, were in third at the 1,000m half-way point but the result never looked in doubt as the pair plugged away and battled back to overtake the front two.
With the fastest stroke rate the pair were leading by the time they reached the 1,500m mark and then kept up that pace to win first place.
After the heats – in which they set a personal best – a confident Rowles said: “GB fans can expect absolute excellence as we always produce.
“We are here to defend that title, we are champions coming to this, we hold the Triple Crown and that’s what we are here to defend.”
Rowles and Whiteley are also European and World champions, as well as double gold Paralympians.